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Dave Hemmings: ‘Coach Membership helps coaches grow and improve’

Dave Hemmings is one of Great Britain’s top swimming coaches – guiding the likes of James Wilby, Abbie Wood and Molly Renshaw to World, Olympic and Commonwealth glory.

The Loughborough National Performance Centre coach explains why he believes Swim England’s new Coach Membership Packages help coaches develop and why the offer is something he would’ve wanted when he was a younger coach.

Swim England’s Coach Membership offer contains two different packages – Coach and Coach Plus.

The packages are the first coach-specific offers to be developed by the national governing body and includes £20m public liability insurance cover, personal accident and loss of revenue or business interruption cover plus a range of exclusive discounts as well as access to a learning and development hub.

Reflecting on his coaching career so far, Hemmings said an offer like this would’ve been everything he was looking for to develop and improve his knowledge.

He said: “When I think about what these memberships offer, I go back to thinking about when I used to coach at Club Hillingdon years ago – and the conferences and workshops were everything that I would hope to be able to get on.

“Conferences certainly offered me the chance to improve my knowledge and the chance to go back to my coaching job and become a better coach and apply better practice.

“I think the Connecting Coaches workshops and the content that is in those really offers coaches the opportunity to grow and improve.”

Bringing coaches together

Hemmings says the membership is an important step and gives the opportunity for coaches to work and improve together by sharing their expertise.

He said: “I think the Coach Membership scheme is a really good idea because it brings coaches together in one community and one group.

“There’s obviously a lot of aspects of the Coach Membership offer. And whereas I’m talking around education and the Connecting Coaches workshops and conferences that I believe are an integral part of that offer.

“I just think it’s fantastic that as a community of coaches we can work towards an education system that’s similar, but one where we share our expertise and can all improve together.

“One of the great things with the Connecting Coaches workshops and the conferences is just the ability now to spend more time talking and collaborating with other coaches.

“Certainly from my side, when we’ve come out of conferences and those workshops, the amount of phone calls and zoom sessions that I’ve been able to have with other coaches and to take on and expand on the content of those sessions have been really, really good.

“I know certainly my coaching peers like to hear about what we do at British Swimming when we’ve been able to look into the top athletes, how we’re training and going about our business off the back of those sessions has been really useful.”

‘I’m really proud to be involved’

The Coach Membership scheme is something that Hemmings is proud of and he’s looking to be more of a part of it in the future as he looks to give back to the next generation of coaches.

He said: “I’m a firm believer that when we have a central system of education where we can openly share and collaborate together, that is the best way of learning and the best way to move forward.

“Certainly, when I think back about when I’ve learned the most, it’s been in the presence of coaches that have been able to present and share openly. And I’ve been able to absorb that, think about it and then be able to go and apply that information in my own way.

“I think that through the multiple education avenues that the Coach Membership offers, it’s just a great way of achieving this.

“I’m really proud to be involved and to be a part of this. From my perspective, a couple of years ago, when I saw that the Connecting Coaches workshops were on coming on board, I asked to be part of those.

“I asked whether I could present because I’m really passionate about being given the opportunity to learn and share high-level information to improve coaching practice.

“It’s how I learn and I feel that it was one of the most important parts of where I’ve been able to get to today in my own coaching career. And it’s something that I hope to be able to give back to more in the future through the coaching workshops and the conferences.”

To sign up for the Swim England Coach Membership scheme, please click here.